TETFund earmarks N25bn for labs equipment, workshops upgrade in higher institutions

The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc Sonny Echono, has disclosed that the Fund has earmarked N25 billion for upgrading equipment in laboratories and workshops in public universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education nationwide.

He stated that this allocation is part of the 2024 intervention budget, addressing the decay in research facilities across beneficiary institutions. Echono highlighted that findings have revealed the obsolescence, inadequacy, or underutilization of equipment in laboratories and workshops in these institutions.

Echono made these remarks on Monday during the inauguration of three ad hoc committees tasked with upscaling skills development and strengthening the Fund’s intervention activities.

The committees are:

  1. Committee on operationalizing equipment upgrades in workshops and laboratories for universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education (technical).
  2. Committee on the assessment/review of TETFund centers of excellence.
  3. Committee on the operationalization of skills development special intervention.

Echono emphasized the necessity of improving and expanding Nigeria’s research and development (R&D) infrastructure and facilities to transition the country to a knowledge-based economy. He announced the provision of approximately N25 billion in the 2024 intervention for the initial phase of upgrading equipment in workshops and laboratories.

Regarding skills development, Echono praised the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for formalizing informal apprenticeship training through The National Skills Qualification framework (NSOF). He mentioned that the Fund has allocated provisions for skills development programs in polytechnics under its Special Interventions.

To ensure effective implementation, an Advisory Committee chaired by Prof. Hayward Babale was constituted to advise on the operationalization of equipment upgrades. Echono urged the committees to submit their reports within six weeks from the date of their constitution for the country’s upward development.

In response, Prof. Idris Bugaje, Chairman of the Committee on the operationalization of skills development special intervention, commended the Fund for investing in skills development, emphasizing its crucial role in shaping the future of the youth. He stressed the importance of upgrading equipment, training local talent, and utilizing indigenous skills for national development.

SOURCE: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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